One of the most popular bits at TCA this year was an exercise I call “There Are No Lost Positions”, AKA “The Visigoths Are Coming”.
I was particularly surprised by how many women were delighted by this one. It’s an exhilarating and empowering exercise. You go to the fear place and rise above it, again and again.
Anyone who has done The Edge knows that it is a gentle two-person drill for Coherence, Presence, and Engagement. You learn to Receive energy from your partner without contraction and resistance.
It does this by challenging your personal space and your balance and then providing the tools needed to overcome the fear-based responses that limit your ability. All too often we get stuck in our fear, causing a mental and physical shutdown. Repeated practice with The Edge familiarizes you with other, more efficacious alternatives. The Edge has become a cornerstone of my LOVE OR FEAR seminars. It is such a gentle exercise, however, that students sometimes forget how powerful it is.
When students play push hands, they easily regress to fear-based responses when they feel desperate about their position. Maybe they are back on their heels or elbows are pinned behind the body. The mind doesn’t easily go to the soft power produced by The Edge.
So I came up with “There Are No Lost Positions”. You start by letting your partner put you in a “lost” position, where you are well past your comfort zone and your mind is saying, “What the hell do I do now?! Instead of trying to figure your way out of the puzzle, your first order of business is establish your energetic coherence by pointing. Then you MEET your partner in I-You relation (“Where are you Now?” “Here you are!”) The energy shifts and you are much better able to solve the riddle posed to you.
You can then crank it up to the next level: “What do you do when the Visigoths are coming?” This is best done where you have lots of room. Your partner puts you in a “lost” position and then keeps coming with energy and intensity. You now have to solve the puzzle while your nervous system is bombarded with new challenges each moment. The answer is still the same: Coherence, Presence, Engagement. It is only when you meet your partner in the present moment while energetically coherent that you can access all that cool gongfu you have been training for years.